Best Practices: Capturing Candidates With Your Corporate Careers Website

My previous articles on best practices for corporate websites recruiting focused on how to attract corporate website visitors to the Careers section, and convince them of the merits of the company and its employment offering. This article explores how to CAPTURE the job seeker, and get the critical information that a corporate recruiter needs to do his or her job quickly and efficiently. The “One Click” Rule Website navigation must be natural and easy. For a candidate to respond online, it should take no more than one click from a job description. Don’t make candidates go hunting for instructions on how to apply once they have identified a suitable job opening. A recent study by Recruitsoft/iLogos Research, “Best Practices for Fortune 500 Career Web Site Recruiting,” found that 56% of Fortune 500 companies follow the “One Click to Apply” best practice. This best practice is easy to implement and yields direct results. Offer Choices Not all candidates have an up-to-date resume on hand, so don’t force all candidates to use an online response form that presupposes that they are “resume-ready.” Instead, offer candidates a choice between a cut-and-paste form (for those that do have a resume on hand) and a Resume Builder, to help those without a current resume construct a resume on the fly. Only 14 percent of the Fortune 500 provide candidates with a choice between a cut-and-paste form and a Resume Builder. To capture the largest candidate pool (including desirable “passive” jobseekers), welcome information submitted in different formats. If you don’t accommodate the data input styles of your visitors, you’ll lose them just at the point of engagement. For optimal results, your back-end hiring management system should be able to store, access and mine a variety of candidate data resume and profile information. Reduce Unnecessary Typing The amount of data entry involved in applying for a job online can be significant. Unless you want to screen for just the persistent candidates, streamline your online application process to reduce non value-added data entry. One best practice is to automate the data connection between the candidate’s information submission and position of interest. The Recruitsoft/iLogos Research study found that 39 percent of the Fortune 500 automatically tag the online application with the appropriate job reference number. The result: less busy work for your jobseeker and a step towards streamlining your applicant processing methods. Applying for more than one job at a company can require repeated retyping of the same information. Save candidates unnecessary keyboarding by providing them with a job cart program, or the ability to save their personal information in your system with a password, to be accessed ? kept updated ? and used for subsequent job applications. 18% of the Fortune 500 allow candidates to reuse their information for multiple job applications. Candidates appreciate, and will tend to complete applications with, user-friendly features. They not only reflect well on your company but also enable deeper recruiting process efficiencies for your corporate recruiters and hiring managers. Accept Anonymous Candidates Some candidates are concerned about their online privacy. They may be interested in exploring opportunities with your company, yet want to protect their identity until later in the process (often due to concerns about their current employer’s reaction). Accommodate them by accepting anonymous applications. After all, they may be ACE candidates! A mere 1% of the Fortune 500 accepts anonymous online applications. Increase your capture rate by implementing this best practice. Get the Information You Need Capturing candidate information with these (and other) best practice features presents the public side of the recruiting process. Your Careers section should gather the data that drives the overall recruiting process. Significant amounts of the sorting and filtering burden can be automated, provided that the right data is gathered from the candidate, at the right time, and in the right format. Online applications can incorporate pre-assessment questions to assess the match between a candidate’s skills, credentials, and experience and the requirements of a particular job position. Having pre-assessment tools customized for each job position is a leading-edge Best Practice implemented by only a handful of the Fortune 500 today. However, with sophisticated hiring management system (HMS) database and software applications robust enough to handle the task of customized prescreening, companies can benefit from automating much of the initial candidate data flow. A well-designed Careers section front-end unified with rich back-end processing functionality can ensure that your corporate recruiting is accomplished quickly and economically, and you hire the best candidates! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

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Alice Snell is vice president of Taleo Research. The specialty research practice analyzes the best practices and economics of talent management. Taleo Research focuses on critical issues and key trends in talent management that impact organizational performance. Taleo Research is the strategic research division of Taleo, which provides on demand talent management solutions for organizations of all sizes, worldwide.

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